Biden Replaces Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Policy with New Asylum System

As of February 19, 2021, the Biden administration has ended the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy and entered phase one of their plan for addressing tens of thousands of migrants who are seeking asylum in the United States at the southern border. An estimated 25,000 asylum seekers are expected to enter the country – with two border crossings each processing a maximum of 300 each day and a third crossing taking a lower number of migrants. 

In January 2019, former President Trump created the Migrant Protection Protocols program – commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” program – to force Central American migrants to await asylum hearings outside the United States, which made it substantially difficult for them to find legal representation and communicate with the courts about their pending cases. While approximately 70,000 asylum seekers were enrolled in the program, court hearings for these individuals have been suspended since June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Under the new asylum program, eligible migrants must first register with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that will determine which individuals are the most vulnerable and those who have the longest pending cases. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon announce a “virtual registration process” that can be accessed by phone or online for migrants to learn where and when they should report. After being screened by the NGOs and tested for the coronavirus, migrants will be given an appointment to enter the U.S. through a port of entry. 

Once they cross the border, the asylum seekers must enroll in “alternative detention programs,” which allow them to have their cases transferred to whatever court is closest to their desired location, typically in an area where family members live. The border will not hold any court proceedings. 

Interested in seeking asylum in Phoenix, AZ? If so, contact Kanu & Associates, P.C. today at (602) 353-7795 for a case evaluation. Se habla Español. 

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